Valentine’s Day: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year. They do this every now and then so lonely single people won’t be made to feel bad when they go looking for a meaningless weekend hookup and find themselves surrounded by happy couples in love.

Holding Valentine’s Day on a Monday allows the unattached one more year of denying the misery of their largely pointless existence. At the same time, it affords those in committed, long-term relationships to justify saving a few bucks by skipping the celebration entirely in favor of another seemingly endless night at home with the one we continue to love, despite everything.

Far from just taking the hint and skipping Valentine’s Day altogether, the hospitality industry goes to extraordinary lengths to lure you and your wallet out into the night — or, in the case of some of the more demographically targeted offerings, the late afternoon. When VD falls on Monday, that turns the celebration into a three-day Festival of Special Offers that demonstrates, if nothing else, that restaurants have marketing departments.

So if you, like me, are going to grudgingly consider acquiescing one more time to a society bent on leveraging Hallmark’s commercial vision into something similar in scale to Halloween but without the sexual possibilities, you’re going to want to consider the following:

Because love doesn’t die as we age but does get sleepy a lot earlier than it used to, a couple of Louisville spots are serving up Valentine’s Day Early Bird Specials.  Asiatique, for example, will knock ten bucks off the $55 prix fixe menu for any lovers who take their seats before 5:30. That’s also the deadline for the English Grille‘s three-course “Early Lovebird Special,” which throws in a free glass of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine and, I’m guessing, a cup of Sanka for the road. Avalon also has an Early Bird Special, a $75 dinner-for-two that includes a bottle of wine — though just which wine they’re “promising” hasn’t been declared. If you want to go off the special, be aware that on VD Avalon is offering a “special” selection of $10 bottles. I’m sure the shudder I just felt is one of anticipation.

For those who either want to move their Valentine’s Day feeding to the weekend before the actual VD and/or who can stay awake past 9 o’clock, there are other enticing offers about town.

Lilly’s, one of the ville’s most romantic redezvous, will be closed Valentine’s Day — which seems, to me, quite sensible. Instead, Lilly’s will host a “Valentine’s Dinner” on Saturday, February 12. (By coincidence, that’s also the 50th Anniversary of the launch of the first Venus probe. Perhaps we should have a Venus probe/Valentine’s Day joke contest. All submissions referring to the planet Uranus will be disqualified.) Along with the special menu (here), there will be “Valentine-themed” wines and some guy playing the piano.

While I, personally, distrust businesses with a colon in their names, Corbett’s: An American Place has a five-course food-and-wine pairing for $130, available both Sunday and Monday. (As if the subtitle weren’t enough, the menu for the dinner uses “truffle” as a verb.) If you don’t want the wine, the price drops $45. Celebrity chef Dean Corbett’s other restaurant, Equus, is doing kind of the same thing, but without the optional wine pairing and with “exceptional Valentine’s Day drink specials.” Menu here.

On the other hand, if you’ve been married as long as I have, maybe a special, Valentine’s Day Kroger gift card is just what the doctor ordered.

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